Help sought for second Double Spring couple

Waves lap the perimeter of the Self's Double Spring home on Saturday.

Waves lap the perimeter of the Self's Double Spring home on Saturday.

The Flood of 1997 occurred about two years after Chuck and Maureen Self built their home in Double Spring Flat.

It flooded in the Pine Nut community, which thanks to a federal disaster declaration resulted in the installation of a 5-foot culvert installed under Leviathan Mine Road, according to Maureen speaking to The R-C on Friday.

“We never had any issues,” she said. “Every once in a while the water would run down into the valley, but everyone had things fixed so it drained.”

Most of the water would drain to a second spot west of the community, designated on Douglas County flood maps as a lake through a pipeline.

Over the next 26 years, the Flat remained relatively dry, Self said.

Because the residents who’d lived near the pipeline moved, there wasn’t anyone to clear it of snow and ice from the New Year’s weekend Tonopah Low storm that dumped feet of snow in the Pine Nuts and started the clock ticking.

Maureen Self said they knew there would be trouble once all that snow started to melt.

She said she started calling any agency that might help, including Douglas County, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Land Management. She said that when she heard back, she was told the area wasn’t part of their jurisdiction.

“Then we had all these storms that piled rain and snow on us,” she said.

Then on March 10, yet another atmospheric river struck Western Nevada and the snow that had sat on the Flat started to melt.

“We called but we were told it wasn’t their responsibility and that we had to call so and so,” she said. “Leviathan Mine Road went to pieces.”

The Selfs and Morgan and Rachel Jackson and a handful of their neighbors found their homes in feet of water.

“It backed up into all of our properties because it could not drain,” she said.

She said the neighbors hired someone to start digging to get the flat to drain.

“We got the Forest Service to fix the road partially, so we could get to our driveways,” she said.

When they evacuated their home, they had to abandon their two cats, which Self said she was able to rescue after they were able to get into the house last week.

“None of us out there had flood insurance,” she said. “The water in the crawl space came up under the floor across the whole inside of the house. We lost the flooring, the carpet and everything. It has finally gone down enough to where it is seeping out of the garage and my husband’s workshop. We are going to have to replace all the flooring and everything. We are in dire straits.”

The couple is living with friends while they figure out their next steps.

The water is draining under Leviathan Mine Road and the levels are dropping on the Flat, she said.

“If we can get FEMA on board, that would be good,” she said. “Without insurance, it’s really going to put us in a spot. As long as water is flowing out of the other end, we’ve got a chance.”

The county and state emergency declarations after the March 10 flooding resulted in federal assessment teams conducting damage surveys. Should those rise to the level where a federal emergency is declared, help might be in the cards.

Commission Chairman Mark Gardner said he came out to view the damage.

“Their issue is most unfortunate, and we’ve been working with the involved jurisdictions to mitigate the issue including the state with Assemblyman Ken Gray, the USFS and BIA including the passability of Leviathan Mine Road,” Gardner said on Monday. “We are fortunate to have experienced a break in the weather, which appears to have allowed the drainage of the water and a slow melting of the snow in the area affecting the ability of the residents to return to their homes.”

The Selfs’ children and grandchildren, who live in New Mexico, have set up a Gofundme account for the couple at

On Thursday, Douglas County commissioners are being asked to waive fees for homeowners who have repairs from the flooding.

Community Services Director Tom Dallaire estimated 300 properties in the county were damaged in the March flooding.

“The reported damage is mainly washed out driveways with smaller culverts, where flood waters washed away the driveway material or the culvert,” he said in his report.

The resolution includes permit fees for homeowners who received flood damage during the March events.


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